Going to UN over Kashmir was a mistake: Advani
2 January 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Hazaribagh: Flaying Jawaharlal Nehru Government for approaching the United Nations over Kashmir issue in 1947, Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani today accused the previous Congress Governments of wasting chances to settle the problem and failing to curb the growing penetration of ISI in India over the past 20 years. He also underlined that the Vajpayee Government had belied apprehensions in the world 'spread by Congress' about BJP being war-mongers by making 'sincere' attempts to establish friendly relations with Pakistan. 'There would have been no Pakistan- occupied Kashmir (PoK) if we had not approached the United Nations in 1947 after Pakistani aggression. Due to this move, a ceasefire had to be enforced when our troops were pushing back Pakistani troops leading to creation of the Line of Control,’’ Advani told a gathering here. Subsequently, a major opportunity to settle the Kashmir problem was wilted away in 1971 when 93,000 Pakistani soldiers were taken prisoners by the Indian troops in a 'great victory', said Advani who was here to launch 10 developmental projects worth about Rs 100 crore. When the then Pakistan Prime Minister Z A Bhutto 'came here (India) to take back the soldiers, he should have been told (by the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi) to give in writing that Kashmir is an integral part of India and his country has no claim on it', he said. Advani said Pakistan, after failing 'miserably' to annex Kashmir through open wars, had resorted to proxy war as per a plan devised by former military ruler Zia-ul-Haq. 'As per the plan, ISI started setting up its bases in India, lured Kashmiri youth and trained them to cause bomb blasts and hijackings,' he said, adding the process continued for 20 years. But there has been a change lately as not many Kashmiris are getting alured and Pakistanis and Afghans form the majority of the terrorists operating in the country, he said. Pointing out that the NDA Government had resolved to eliminate the proxy war, Advani said work was on to dig out and neturalise ISI bases in the country and 161 such 'dens' had been eliminated so far. 'This could have been done earlier but the previous Governments did not do it,' he said. He said when the NDA Government came to power in 1998, there was apprehension in the world 'following a propaganda by Congress' that BJP believed in war. 'But this has been belied as Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee made sincere attempts to establish peace with Pakistan', first by going to Lahore by bus and then by inviting Pervez Musharraf to Agra for talks, he said. After these efforts failed, India asserted that it would have no further talks with Pakistan till it ended cross- border terrorism, Advani said. 'We maintain that stand', he said, adding although Pakistan has been saying it wants to talk to India anytime and anywhere, the world is also telling to end terrorism first. Advani said there was no international pressure on India to initiate a dialogue with Pakistan. 'Some people say there is international pressure on us to go in for talks with Pakistan. But there is absolutely no pressure on India at all,' Advani said. Advani who laid the foundation stones for a dozen development projects worth Rs 94 crore here said, 'we have made it clear. We will not talk to Pakistan till it stops all forms of terrorism, including cross- border.' 'Any world leader who visits Pakistan asks it to stop terrorism.... But no international leader ever tells the same to India. Rather they ask India to fight against terrorism,' he said. Stating that Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had given a new direction to India after the 1998 nuclear tests, Advani said, 'we belied the world’s apprehension when Pakistan imposed Kargil on us.’’ External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha, Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar and Sports Minister Vikram Verma shared the dias with the Deputy Prime Minister who launched the development projects on line.